The 29-year-old is set to represent Malta in the S5 swimming class at this summer’s Paralympic Games and has her sights on more than just records and medals.
At the 2016 Games in Rio, Vlady became the first female athlete since 1980 to compete for Malta and she now hopes her own experiences can pave the way for other talented athletes.
“Malta has so many talented athletes with so much potential that it’s unacceptable that in 2016 I was the first female swimmer that goes [to the Games],” she told Loughborough Sport.
“After that, I actively took part in the set-up of the Malta Paralympic Committee and now, I’m the athletes’ representative on the board. Our goal is to attract more athletes to performance Para sport.”
“I know that a lot of athletes use their public profile to showcase what they do in sport. I chose a different direction…I hope that this time in Tokyo I won’t be the only athlete.”
Vlady’s coach, Gareth McNarry, also explained how she is making a difference both in and out of the pool:
“As someone who had an accident and ended up with her injury, she sees sport as a vehicle for change for her and other people with impairments.
“It’s part of the reason she’s running for IPC (International Paralympic Committee) athlete council membership. She feels that’s a big part of sport and it’s not just about those times and medals.”
Loughborough University has launched a new initiative for those looking to support the future of Para sport on campus. By supporting the Para Sport programme, individuals can make a profound impact to a young person’s life. To find out more and how to donate, click HERE.
For more information on Loughborough and its presence at the Paralympic Games, visit the dedicated website HERE.